What is the Student Partners Program (SPP) in Canada?

What is the Student Partners Program (SPP) in Canada?

Alisha Khan Alisha Khan
[Published 09 May, 2022 | 02:54 PM]
About Author - 6 min read

The Student Partners Program (now known as Student Direct Stream), is an administrative framework between the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).

Launched back in April 2009, the SPP was designed to streamline the admissions and visa process for community colleges in Canada. Since a large number of Indian students apply to various specialized trade requirement-based diplomas and post-graduate diploma programs – the SPP increased the number of visas issued to Indian students.

The Student Partner Program was initially opened for Indian nationals, but quantifying how successful it turned out to be, the SPP was extended to China as well.

Aspiring students planning on pursuing their studies in Canada can apply to any of the colleges participating under the SPP. Canada Study Visa applications under the SPP receive prioritized processing and decisions are based on the documents provided by the students.

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What are the eligibility criteria for the Student Partners Program?

Students applying under Canada’s SPP must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Minimum IELTS score of 6.0 with no band less than 5.0.
  • A study gap of no more than 5 years, with certain exceptions for students with a 3-year gap having excellent grades and relevant work experience.
  • Not more than 8 backlogs in recent studies are accepted under the SPP.
  • Selected courses applied must be relevant to the student’s previous background.
  • A minimum of 50% score in their recently completed degree or diploma as per the SPP institution-specific requirement.
  • Demonstrate proof of payment of the tuition fee for one semester or one year.
  • Students with previous Canada Study Visa rejections are not eligible to re-apply under the SPP.

How to apply under the Student Partners Program?

College Application Process: There are multiple steps involved in applying to colleges under the Student Partners Program. With an additional focus on finances, the steps are similar to applying to any Canadian university or college.

STEP 1: Selecting an SPP college and course of choice.

STEP 2: Appearing for the required tests.

STEP 3: Apply for course admission.

STEP 4: Medical Examination.

STEP 5: Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC).

STEP 6: Apply for a student visa.

Visa Application Process: Applying for a Canada Study Visa under the SPP is faster and easier. On average, an SPP visa application is processed within 5 to 10 working days. You can apply for the visa online or through any of the VFSs (Visa Facilitation Services) in India.

List of participating colleges under the Student Partners Program

  • Algonquin College
  • Assiniboine Community College
  • Bow Valley College
  • Cambrian College of Applied Arts & Technology
  • Camosun College
  • Canadore College
  • Centennial College of Applied Arts & Technology
  • College of New Caledonia
  • College of the Rockies
  • Columbia College
  • Conestoga College
  • Confederation College of Applied Arts & Technology
  • Douglas College
  • Durham College
  • Fanshawe College of Applied Arts & Technology
  • Fleming College
  • George Brown College
  • Georgian College of Arts & Technology
  • Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Lakeland College
  • Langara College
  • Lambton College of Applied Arts & Technology
  • LaSalle College
  • Loyalist College of Applied Arts & Technology
  • Manitoba Institute of Trades & Technology
  • Medicine Hat College
  • Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology
  • Niagara College
  • North Island College
  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • Northern College
  • Northern Lights
  • NorQuest College
  • Okanagan College
  • Parkland College
  • Red River College of Applied Arts, Science & Technology
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic
  • Sault College
  • Selkirk College
  • Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
  • Sheridan College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
  • St. Clair College of Applied Arts & Technology
  • St. Lawrence College
  • University of the Fraser Valley
  • Vancouver Community College
  • Vancouver Island University
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What are the documents required for the Student Partners Program?

  • Valid Passport
  • Photographs
  • Admission Offer Letter from the SPP College
  • An IELTS score
  • Proof of Funds
  • Degrees and Transcripts
  • Leaving Certificate
  • Family Information form.
  • Purchase a specific Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from Scotia Bank, SBI, or ICICI Bank to cover living expenses for the first year of stay in Canada.
  • Medical examination report.

How to work under the Student Partners Program?

All international students who have successfully graduated from any of Canada's approved universities/colleges are eligible for a Canada work permit. SPP colleges or non-SPP colleges could be involved. Each work permit has its own set of conditions that must be met by every student who wishes to work in Canada.

According to current Canada work permit requirements, students who take a two-year or longer course will be granted a Post Graduate Work Permit for the same time period (maximum 3 years). Those with a course duration of 1 year or less, on the other hand, are eligible for a work permit for the duration of the course.

Read More about SPP: What is SDS (Student Direct Stream), and what will be its impact on Indian students applying for a Canadian student visa?


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